Categories
bible dads Faith family Father’s Day Fatherhood grace parents Uncategorized

More Than Enough

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul to the Corinthian Church. — 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Peach says:

Batman and I were/are both so blessed in this regard. It’s a gift that keeps giving every day, through the years. You remember little and big things they were an example of, they told you, you did together! So many ways!

To any Dads feeling not enough, somehow inadequate, or Mommas making it without the Dad, I would like to share with you something the Lord put on my heart on a Saturday night before Mother’s Day, about 17 (or there about) years ago.

I couldn’t sleep. And was realizing I was so flawed as a person, much less as a momma. And the Lord just started putting this very clear message of His Grace being what comes in, and always had, and fills in the gaps of my weak spots, my failures, my inabilities, and my ‘I don’t even know how-isms’. He comes in with His goodness, His all knowing, His Holy Spirit, and just adds His muchness, His more than enoughness, and makes everything work, makes it better, makes it work a purpose, that’s better than it would ever be in our aloneness and self sufficiency!

You are right. I am right. We are NOT enough, not by ourselves!! We are never meant to do it alone! He put everything in us that we need, HE BRINGS THE REST!! All we must do is bring Him in!

Pray, believe, and ENJOY the beautiful life, and lives (of your children, little and raised) He has given you!! —

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9. HE IS ENOUGH!! Happy Father’s Day to you!!

P. S. I would like to ESPECIALLY thank our Batman for being a kind, generous hearted, courageous, hard working, determined, always learning, always teaching, man of integrity, faith and heart, and making us laugh all the time!! He always, always shows up, figures it out, and never holds your past or even your present against you!! Happy Father’s Day to the Best Daddy I could EVER IN A MILLION YEARS have chosen!!

Love, Peach!!

Categories
bible Faith Gratitude Life thankful Uncategorized

Thankful

“Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: His Mercy endureth forever.” — Psalm 107:1

Peach says:

Hey, Everybody! Not entirely sure of how this will come together, but it’s on my mind and I have to try!

A lot of things are coming together this year. No Covid can stop the move of God. When He says “Grace!” Grace is coming! It’s pouring! It’s rushing to heal. To fill, to refresh, to replenish and to restore! It just washes away the obstacles.

His Grace. It’s always here, right where we need it! Sometimes, where we need it and HOW we need it, is more like a trip to the ER, court, chemotherapy or radiation or a root canal, or two. It’s more like long term physical therapy or visitation, or unemployment. In other words it’s in our pain and our suffering, our desolation. it’s what keeps us going, helps us not be overcome, but instead to overcome. It’s the salt in our water we are faithfully treading. Giving us much needed buoyancy. It’s the spiritual CrossFit training chiseling the freshly flab out of our souls.

Thank God for it!! Because of THAT Grace, we make much needed progress, and LIVE to SEE way better days!!

We last to live to see the days our hearts long for, that we dream of. We KNOW we are experiencing much needed GRACE when we experience these much longed for victories, when we achieve accomplishments we struggled for, when we can’t wipe the silly grin off our faces, because He DID it! He brought our hopes to pass! He restored us, refreshed us, vindicated us, brought us out and INTO our much better place!

But, that Grace? Is a result of the first Grace. Which is not near as fun, and if we aren’t mindful, we may miss it altogether. And that would be a shame, because we NEED the memory of His faithfulness in the times of our darkest pain, our most pressing darkness, our most infuriating injustices. We need to tie that memory to us like a tourniquet around our arm, keeping the life blood of our faith from running out.

I like to take a breath and look around, outwardly and inwardly, and try to take stock of alllll the many ways His goodness is popping up and showing out, little details, that I know are not happenstance. Big things, that I wouldn’t have even known to pray for, but He did them anyway!

Last year and the year before, were challenging times. That’s the most I can really stand to say about them. For now. At the end of the year as we approached 2020, I was strongly impressed by the Lord, that where 2019 has been all about work, survival mode, it was preparing us for a 2020 that would see us thriving! I have to say, 5 months in, and I see the benefits all around me, tendrils of plants peeping up through the soil, some flowers already starting to unfurl.

If you are in survival mode, (or even coasting or thriving mode, this works all the time!). I encourage you to hold onto Him and His faithfulness, scream in your car on the way to work if you have to, cry in the shower, turn the Praise and Worship music on to Def Con 12, and give the devil a migraine! Read your Bible relentlessly. Listen to powerful and BIBLICAL teaching, every chance you get.

And in the process of time you will begin to feel a shift in the weather. He is faithful and knows we need changes in our seasons. And He’s a GOOD Father. So He does much needed work in us during the hard times. SO THAT the good times coming, don’t wreck us!

Look around, savor the signs of His faithfulness. Celebrate with Him, the beauty of His Grace. Don’t be ashamed to testify, someone most likely needs it.

While Samuel was offering the sacrifice, the Philistines came within range to fight Israel. Just then, God thundered a huge thunder clap exploding among the Philistines. They panicked—mass confusion!—and ran helter skelter from Israel. Israel poured out of Mizpah and gave chase, killing Philistines right and left, to a point just beyond Beth Car. Samuel took a single rock and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it “EBENEZER” (Rock of help), saying “This marks the place where God helped us.”— 1 Samuel 7:10-12 The Message

Happy Sunday, Y’all! God bless you and keep you and give you great JOY!

Peach

Categories
bible Faith Life Uncategorized

A Flash

And though you started with little, you will end with much” — Job 8:7

Recently I thought about the majesty, and brevity of a ‘FLASH’.

Most things in life, of value, accrue over time, build over time, gain momentum, value and worth, over time.

In our ability to travel by jet, prepare meals via microwave or instapot, relationships through swipes and casual hook-ups, or drive thru meals picked up, we are no longer well acclimated to the slow burn, the long haul, the small beginning, the steady pace.

Another part of our culture that has changed is the urbanization and lack of people exposed to any kind of gardening, farming, or ranch life. These activities, or these ways of life, teach you the process of time, from beginning to end. The mundane pace of life as the ground looks barren, but you know you planted seed in there. After a process of time, when you’ve about forgotten to expect it, you see the seeds begin to sprout!

I am reminded of a clear example that I noticed last spring on my drive to and from work. I am fortunate to be able to travel the ‘back roads’ and through a bit of farming country. Last spring I took particular note of a set of fields that were plowed, planted and then….nothing, for about maybe 6 weeks? Then BOOM!! There was a full healthy crop, what seemed like OVERNIGHT! This reminded me of a parable Jesus once told –– “And He said, ‘So is the King of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;….for the earth brings forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that then the full corn in the ear….” Mark 4:26-32

There’s a lot that happens after that seed is planted, and watered, and day by day, to our eye NOTHING is happening. But, beneath the soil SO MUCH is happening. The seed transforms, breaks forth, as it progresses NOTHING REMAINS. Of what it used to be, it develops a root system, to sustain and anchor what’s coming, and then it starts developing and pushing through the soil and reaching towards the sky!

What’s not to love about that!! So much we can learn from the pictures of nature!

The Hebrew people understood that all of nature was designed to teach us spiritual principles through illustrations.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease”. — Genesis 8:2

We often say ‘Good things come to those who wait.’, but we are not always prone to live by it.

Sometime in my later twenties, I noticed a tendency I had to burn quick and hot in the pursuit of something, but also, if I wasn’t careful, to burn out. As a result of this observation, I continue to work to be focused, persistent and faithful. Sometimes these things come naturally, sometimes they take extra grace, and sometimes a bit or more of grit!!

I find that when I can remember to roll the care onto Him, He is more than faithful to be my strength, my focus, my steadfastness.

While our society celebrates the instant everything, God’s Word is replete on examples and principles, of incremental growth, starting small and growing big.

I love sparklers, fireworks and bon fires! The first two are sudden, bold, bright, crackling and brief! The last starts slow, builds, and then gives off a quiet, multi hued light and warmth for hours, if carefully tended. They all have their place. But, as far as life goes, I’m aiming for an EPIC bon fire!

Just some examples of definitions of ‘flash‘:


:
 RUSH, DASH used of flowing water

2. To break forth in or like a sudden flame or flare

3a. To appear suddenly ‘an idea flashes into her mind’. b. To move with great speed. ‘The day’s flash by.’

4a. To break forth or out so as to make a sudden display. b. To act or speak vehemently and especially in anger.

5a. To give off light suddenly or in transient bursts. b. To glow or gleam especially with animation or passion ‘her eyes flashed with anger.’

6. To change suddenly or violently into vapor.

7. To expose one’s breasts or genitals usually suddenly and briefly in public.

8. To have a sudden insight

In life, we put in effort, we do work, we invest, and the benefits of our efforts do not always readily appear. But, if we continue step by step, in time we will see progress. One day we will look around and see satisfying results sprouting forth that will make our heart glad measure. When we do it in faith, trusting the Lord for the guidance and the strength and the outcome, we leave room for Him to do exceedingly abundantly beyond anything we could ask, think, or imagine.’ Ephesians 3:20.

I have to say Batman has been a really, really great teacher of this principle! He’s the one who got my attention in my twenties about being quick to speak up, but not always to follow through! It smarted, because he only ever encourages me, so it carried a great weight. Because of it, I learned to mentally ‘count the cost’ before I speak up, and then prayerfully follow through. I think it’s super important not to try to be consistent in and of our own selves, but always depending on the Grace of God to make us able! I’m going to try a couple of small permanent steps in a couple of important areas this week, that I hope in a few months will bring some of those results!

Start low, aim high, gain big!

Happy Sunday, Y’all!

Love,

Peach

Categories
bible Faith family Fear focus health Life life styles Music Procrastination

Letting go

Batman Says:

Ever get one of those things you did or didn’t do stuck in your head? You know what I mean, the annoying kind, the should have done differently or completed or that was stupid kinda thing.

We all have them, we all hang onto them way longer than we should. I think it’s human nature to dwell on the coulda woulda shoulda’s (funny, I thought I was making those words up but apparently not) and sometimes we can’t help but do it. We let the things get in our head and we have a hard time getting them out.

I stopped doing it, hanging on to them like I used to. Once we did or didn’t do a thing, it’s over, it’s gone and we cannot change it, so there’s no sense letting it effect whatever we are doing now or are going to do. If it’s something you can redo better then by all means go for it, but if it’s unchangeable, then chuck it in the bucket and move on. I’ve come to the conclusion that wasting my time worrying over what might have been or what I didn’t do correctly, is just that, a waste of time. We are all only given so much time, so we should spend every moment living the life we were given, not dwelling on mistakes or misfortune.

Since I came to this conclusion, I have actually felt better and been less of a grumpy guss (technical term for pain in the a**), not that I am often but I did have more moments of grumpiness than normal. I like me better this way and it makes the job I do more tolerable. I prefer this way cause Peach deserves a not so grumpy me hehe and cast iron skillets hurt (just kidding good grief y’all don’t read nothin into it, joke, humor, funny).

There’s a verse that I found (stumbled on watching a youtube music video featuring Mercy Me singing “Bring the Rain”) that seemed to fit with this letting go problem, because if we are honest we don’t let go because we are silly and apparently like to suffer and stew over things we cannot control.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18 KJV

If you read this verse with your mind and heart open, these silly things we feel we must hang on to, reveal themselves to be of no consequence and therefore they are easy to let go.

Anywho, that’s how I see it, and I’m happier for it.

“Thanks for watching the video with me for the millionth time Peach”

Categories
bible Faith family Life

Rise Up

Peach Says:

One of the most important skills we learn in life, takes us through learning to walk, until the day we leave this earth. Our youngest grandson is 10 months and learning how to pull himself up on anything and everything. Then, he will drop and crawl to his next desired spot and do it again. He is learning strength and a bit of balance, and a lot of stamina and determination. He wants to be UP.

This lesson continues in various forms through childhood and into teen years, young adulthood. Children learn to ride bikes, which involves a few falls (or in my case many) (true story, the neighborhood kids and teens helped me learn and the oldest joked we needed to post a sign that said ‘Peach’s Ditch‘).

Teens try new styles, new relationships, new academic, or even professional goals. They try various sports, various positions in sports, music, the arts. They tackle driving. They succeed, they fail, they flourish, they fall.

Young adults decide once or twice or even thrice what schooling will help them get to their ‘next’. They decide to pursue military, sports, travel, or get married!

Young adults get married, try to navigate the merging and making of one life from two, where to have family holidays, when to start a family, how to handle debt and expenses, where to live, rent or buy.

It continues on. We all fall down. But, we ALL must GET BACK UP. We may not always feel like it. Sometimes in life, our ‘Giddy-Up-and-Go’ ‘Got-Up-and-Went’. How rude! 😉

When we learn to walk, we learn all about falling down, and maneuvering ourselves back-up again, over and over and over. Our grandson, like most all young toddlers, is so happily persistent in his endeavors to rise up

As we get older, it’s harder, sometimes, to be happily persistent in our rising up! Especially, because we might be tired of making the same mistake (think of yo-yo dieting, repeat pattern relationship issues, debt cycles, etc). We might also get pushed down by people or health, or just life in general.

Many people today are prayerfully hoping the ‘Rona doesn’t leave them pushed down, hoping for a mere wobble and then quick recovery, or, who knows? Maybe even a miraculous take off, soaring above the circumstances, through a series of grace-filled events that don’t always line up so perfectly, but once in while, they DO!

Sometimes heartaches, sometimes work or career related issues, maybe legal issues, the falling can come in a variety of ways. Sometimes we do it, or a stranger, or a loved one might, or the simply unexpected, life dressed as a pandemic.

Nonetheless, we were made for the upright position, to rise up, dust ourselves off, look up, move forward! Everything in the Bible tells us that the majority of our faith walk will be forward and upward.

There’s times we can only stand. And having done all to stand. (Ephesians 6.) We stand until it’s time, once again, to take those steps forward, as the Holy Spirit shows us it’s time. And like the Israelites at the flood stage Jordan river, first we step and THEN the waters part.

Paul said, “I don’t depend upon my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.” — Philippians 3:13, The Passion Translation. I LOVE how he continues on, on his letter to the Body of Christ in Philippi, “I PRESS toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” KJV. And The Passion Translation says it this way: “I run straight for the divine invitation for reaching the Heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus.”

I think there are times it’s harder than others to rise up. But, the reward seems to be proportionally sweeter as we heave our selves upward.

King David was betrayed by family and then friends. He had a son who was determined and crafty, and shameless. He played the whisper game. The game of politics. He worked to bring division to the Kingdom and to bring people to his side. He was determined to steal the Kingdom from his father because of an old wound unhealed. (Bitterness is a powerful poison in our lives, that we should always work diligently to uproot. Apply the weed killer of forgiveness, humility and then bitterness can’t stick around!)

King David was hurt, humiliated and tired. When I say humiliated, I mean before the whole Nation. He had to flee. Someone followed and threw rocks at one point. His son made a big show of sleeping with his concubines pretty much making a public display, (which couldn’t have happened if he didn’t have CONCUBINES! Just a thought).

He eventually won back his Kingdom, through the help of loyal family, soldiers, and citizens. In the process he lost his son.

He grieved so hard, for his wayward son, that his general had to tell him, that if he didn’t get up and show gratitude to the people who kicked out the enemy, and won back the Kingdom, that all would be lost, as in that very night! The people NEEDED to see that he was happier and more appreciative of all they risked and accomplished for him, than he was sad at the loss of his son, who had taken a very wicked turn, which caused much hurt to a lot of people.

King David rose up. He rose to the occasion. Once more. After a lifetime of rising and running to the battle. His heart was broken. YET. He showed regal leadership, (though I doubt he felt like it), and he made glad the hearts of his people, and did the necessary diplomacy, to unite the country once again. (2 Samuel 19).

Eventually, this would result in him having a thriving, prosperous Kingdom to turn over, in the right way, at the right time, for his son Solomon. Reward.

Nothing good ever came from staying down, rolling around in the broken pieces of life. We simply are not made for it.

I know it can be so tiresome, but, it does begin to feel good again, once we get a little momentum, once we can see the horizon a bit. And who knows what beautiful things the Lord has in store for us!

1 Corinthians 2:9.

I’ve had my own fall down this week. And though it has caused a good amount of heartache, I’m here to say, it’s ok! God is SO faithful! We are not left without His love, and in my case that comes in my Batman and our sons and their ladies, and our dear, dear grandkids! And there’s more family we are blessed with besides! So much joy! 🤗 I can choose to trust the Lord to work out whatever way He seems best, in what I have no control over, and I can choose to be fully present and appreciative of the family I have. I get to choose that. And with the grace of the Lord I DO! Not in my own wisdom or strength, but I can do ALL things through Christ Who gives me strength.

I only share this to let you know, in case you have fallen, in case your head and your heart are perhaps hurting, also, you CAN do this! Put your hand in His, tell Him how you feel, and what you fear, and go forward!! He has plans for you, but you can’t see them while you are down!

He heals you in the journey forward.

Don’t be fooled into waiting to heal and then thinking you will move forward.

And that, knowing the time, that now IT IS HIGH TIME TO WAKE OUT OF SLEEP: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” — Romans 13:11-12

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t share that Batman uses a great saying about this topic, which I love! I am hoping he will tell us about his thoughts on it soon!

Rise and shine, Y’all, rise and shine!

Thank you so much for the visit!! Drop us a note so we know you were here!!

May your week be filled with good surprises, straight from Heaven!

Peach!

Categories
bible Faith family focus health Life life styles photography Time management Uncategorized

Reset

Peach says:

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” — Revelation 21:5

This morning after realizing my husband woke up ahead of me and was on a mission to make us delicious breakfast and coffee (he is SO taken, Y’all!), I headed to the bathroom to take my medicines and brush my teeth. Like I tend to do, I got distracted, I decided to reach under the sink and pull out the new tube of toothpaste and give it to him, and I would keep the older one. (It’s a really weird married thing we do! 🤣)

Imagine my chagrin, when I find instead, a cabinet full of soaking wet towels, wash cloths, and everything else you can imagine. From out of date medicine to three curling irons, two of which I didn’t know I had! Ollllld make up. Really, really old! Lol.

So, I brush my teeth, and then realize I can’t use my sink, because IT’S LEAKING! It was early, Y’all and I had not had my coffee or anything! So, I go to my husbands sink, and it’s clogged! With MY HAIR! How? I have absolutely NO idea! I don’t use his sink! And the timing?! What the…? I finish my teeth, I clean out his drain. I take out all the soggy stuff from under my sink. Realize most things can be thrown away. Go eat breakfast and have coffee with my Honey. And head back to clean out under the cabinet, then make room for Batman to come inspect what was causing the leak. It wasn’t long before he figured it out AND repaired it! He is just the best!! (If more men understood how sexy to women being able and willing to get in those uncomfortable spaces and figuring stuff out and getting it done is, there would be a WHOLE LOT less ‘players’ and a whole lot more MEN! I’m just saying! And then EVERYONE would be a whole lot more content in life!!) Then I was able to arrange a greatly reduced amount of things in our freshly cleaned cabinet. Ta da!

I have not enjoyed the ‘Rona drama in the least. It’s everything I don’t like. Which has made this post hard to write. But, every time I am convinced I can’t take another day, week or month (shudder) of this mess, my spirit says, ‘Be still, be still and KNOW that He is God. Watch and see. Wait.” Not the media. Not the politicians, not the annoying, cloying social media people telling us how well behaved they are to ‘follow the rules’ and be home, to wipe their groceries, ‘Can’t you be more like them?’ implied throughout, (can you hear my eyes rolling up in the back of my head?), etc., nope, no one but the Lord, will ultimately have His purposes prevail in this.

It’s a fallen world, and He’s a GOOD God. He didn’t cause this, but, He KNOWS how to bring His purposes out, and when we, His people pray and seek Him, and ask Him to have His way, in all of it, He will.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28.

People misconstrue this verse at times. All are called, not all answer, or love Him. Not all things are good, but The Lord can work them ALL together for our good. Like fine wine, these things take time!

You may well be wondering what our leaky bathroom sink has to do with the ‘Rona, I don’t blame you! When we were in the early stages of this somewhat of a thing, I started seeing a thread here, and a thread there, and felt like I was perhaps watching the beginnings of a work of The Lord. The kinda thing, where I’m not sure, but, I think He’s up to something. And it began to remind me of something.

Before they shut down salons where we are at, my former Co-Pastor and best friend, more like a sister really, friend for life, was putting that much needed color on my hair, and I asked her what her thoughts were on all this, and immediately she said “Reset”. She repeated it, “Reset, it’s definitely a reset.” And I was like “Yeah, of course it is! That makes so much sense to things I’ve been seeing and hearing and sensing!”

After I left, and continuing since then, I started remembering how when I was growing up, I was largely in charge of cleaning and cooking. Mom studied for college and then once graduated, she and dad each commuted an hour each way to a nearby large city for work.

But, every so often, Mom would take on a project. A large project. And it would be something of a production. Stuff everywhere. Messy. Projects are like that. They are a process. They often look worse, than before you start, right up until the time you finish! Then, all is clean and orderly, WITH the desired improvements. So better at the end!

But, the process! Smh. Always made me anxious. To this day, I sort of shun ‘projects’ because of that disorder, so necessary to accomplish the desired end.

It’s the MAKING of all things new that can be uncomfortable, sometimes stressful. Maybe even painful, depending on what’s getting remade.

Over and over in the Bible, we see a pattern of fresh starts, clean slates, new opportunities, resets. We also see the devil trying for something bad, real bad, and the Lord taking it and working it into His ultimate purpose for good, and bringing provision, restoration, promotion, healing. The Lord knows what we need! He knows we get off track!! He knows when it’s time to help us get back on track! He’s a multitasker!

When I first started cleaning out under the sink. It was a flat mess! It was gross! It looked much worse than it did with the cabinet shut, and all the messy siting in its soggy state. Once the leak was fixed, the whole underneath cleaned, many things thrown out (what was I thinking with some of that stuff?) and then everything that remained put back in its newly assigned spot, it was SO much better!

I know the ‘Rona is bad. Nothing good about it. I also know, it’s definitely been a disruptive force, things are shifting, people are getting fresh perspectives, people are having time to spend together and some are NOT having time to spend together. ALL of it is instructive. All of it is an opportunity for us to clean out under our leaky sinks. The leak turned out not to be a big deal. And it caused me to review my highly questionable storage choices! I am very pleased with the results!

People are getting grace periods in their finances, having time to take care of life stuff, that they often lack the time and energy to deal with in our normal hustle world. Some are forced out of work and re-assessing where they want to be in life. This pause can be an incubator for a new future for a whole lot of people. It’s often hard, really hard, to do the challenging work to prepare and qualify for the job you really want, when you are so immersed in your daily or nightly grind. This time can be the birthing point of many new career/life choices for people!

Businesses, schools, churches, families, maybe even the medical community, or county, city, state and federal governments, are all getting the opportunity, to take what was meant for bad, and turn it for good, as God may direct and make them able. Let’s pray for that!

My prayer then, is Lord, leave no stone unturned in this virus, let Your good purposes prevail! Inspire, provide, protect, lead and guide, separate, banish, restore, repair, heal, unite and line up ALL Your purposes, Your people, Your priorities for Your glory and our good!! Help us to hear and heed You! To not be distracted! Help us to wake up and be alert and focused and purposeful and lined up according to Your leading. Let our hearts be tender to You and our minds sharpened with Your light! Let us all be about building lives that carry You to others!! Not building empty lives that contain the world. Help us learn everything You are teaching and bless Your name as we go! Help us reset according to YOUR purposes! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Thank you for coming by! Please like or comment! We really appreciate you taking time here! God bless you and yours!

Peach

Remember, we don’t have to have a potentially deadly virus for a reset! In Christ, every moment that we need one, we can have one! And EVERY morning is gift of new mercies, fresh grace, a reset!!

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassion’s fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” — Lamentations 3:22-23

Categories
bible Faith family focus health Life photography

Pretty Days

Batman Says:

Peach and I have taken lots of photographs over the past few years, and it has got me thinking about what defines a “pretty day”.

To me, every day that comes around, be it sunny and bright, rainy and gray, blinding snow, hurricane blown wind and rain, all have a pretty aspect. The are all something God allowed to form for one of his purposes.

Peach and I have captured a few of what we call pretty days on camera and I’d like to share a few here with you. Some you may have seen before others maybe not, all are special to us as it is time spent together photographing God’s creations, enjoy and please comment if you like or dislike, it’s how we learn.

God paints the pictures, Peach & I do our best to capture them to share.

Each day we are blessed to be a part of, be it stormy weather or clear skies, leaves an indelible mark on each of us, savor the moments you have, stop and look around, dance in the rain, the days are created for us to use, don’t waste them with “we’ll see, or I can do it later, or It’s too hot, it’s too cold”. Do what you can to enjoy the moments, and reflect upon those gone on ahead who are waiting for us.

“Pretty Days” to us is more a state of mind than an actual kind of day, hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoy taking them and sharing them.

Y’all get outside and breath the clean air would ya…

“I’m comin Peach, hold your horses..”

PeachandBatman.smugmug.com

Categories
bible Faith family Fear focus health Life

Living a Life of Duty

Batman Says:

Hello my friends, going a different direction with this post, hope y’all don’t mind, but it’s been weighing on me to talk about this even if it’s a small audience. Who knows, maybe somehow the right person or persons will find it and it will help.

There are people, ordinary everyday people out there, that do something extraordinary. They don’t do it for the money, glory, fame or recognition. They just simply do it because something tugs at them inside and they answer that calling. These people live a Life of Duty.

Soldiers, Police Officers, these are the people I’m talking about, and let’s see if we can explore why, and if not why, let’s see if we can find ways to let them know we appreciate their sacrifices.

I’m a Veteran, I am also a 25+ year active duty Police Officer, I know these sacrifices and I salute anyone that has or is either, you are my Brothers & Sisters in arms, and I know…

No one tells you about all the things that surround you when you are in one of these services, military service people are sent to God knows where to perform tasks that would break a normal persons heart and soul to go through. Sometimes fighting night and day to stay alive, far from home while the world continues to spin and your civilian friends party and carry on with no clue what you are living through. Missing family and always in the back of your mind focusing on the one thought that helps get you through, the thought of going home when your tour is over. And when you finally do get to go home, you realize you no longer are the person you were before you left, you have seen too much, felt too much, to just brush it all off and pretend you are you. So, if your able and are one of the lucky ones, you shove the bad into that dark place in the the back recesses if your mind and you mentally build an impenetrable wall to keep it from escaping. You pick up your life and carry on as if nothing happened, you live a happy life and are complete.

But if you are not lucky, or are not able to force the bad into a box and wall your mind up around it, you are tortured by the demons that haunt your mind. These souls desperately search for help, from pills, from a bottle, from wherever they can. They often find the “official” channels are made so cumbersome and full of people that only care if you fill out the appropriate form, that they cannot get past the front desk. The V.A. Is FULL of non caring people that ONLY care that they get their weekends off and a steady, easily earned paycheck. There are though, Angels in the V.A. who despite the red tape, and bosses with their forms, truly care and are devastated to know they didn’t help someone who needed it. The Veteran that cannot get help, often self medicates with one of the earlier mentioned items. Some find solace in other Veterans and groups who get together and listen, share horror stories, cry on each other’s shoulders and maintain the bond created in difficult times.

Will leave it there for a couple lines while I share a conversation with a friend and fellow Veteran I had recently. This Veteran served in Iraq on the ground door to door, and came home, ok but not completely, the demons kept creeping out, and he would self medicate with alcohol to keep them at bay. Just as he came through it, and could start to keep the demons in the box, tragedy strikes and his son, also a Veteran who served in Afghanistan, after struggling with depression, self medicating and not getting the help he needed from the V.A. took his own life. This pushed my friend back into a spiraling fall and only by the Grace of God and his own strength of character, did he emerge from. Every day is a reminder to him of his son, and he fights on because he knows to give in would hurt more people that he loves.

Now back we go, the above story is true and I only found out all of it from my friend last week. It brings home tragedy of a friends loss, and brings to light for me the fact that there are so many Military Veterans that NEED help. Take the time to tell a Veteran, don’t just say “thank you for your service” say “Thank YOU” and “Is there anything you need that I may be able to help with?” I’m not talking about offering money I’m talking about offering compassion, it’s worth all the money in the world to someone that thinks no one cares.

When I became a Police Officer back in 1994, things were different. For the most part citizens liked the Police and what they stood for. Things have changed, not all for the good, some as a result of bad decisions by Police Officers, some by the media bending the truth to sensationalize a story to get ratings. I became a Police Officer at the age of 30, so I had had several jobs, been around the block a few times and was considered one of the old school cops. We told you how we felt about something honestly and if you needed arrested we arrested you, if you needed someone to vent to, we let you vent (verbally), words can hurt but it’s temporary and not life threatening. I cannot tell you or guess how many times I stood and talked to someone that was irate and genuinely wanting to cause trouble, that eventually calmed down and after a while, changed their attitude ( by the way the surest way to tick someone off is to tell them to “calm down” trust me on this).

For the most part the people we dealt with were not the worst of society, don’t get me wrong, on any given minute anyone is capable of anything. One of the most calm and well spoken people I have come across had just killed a man for “disrespecting” his camp. But I hold no grudges, people make mistakes daily and most try and put it behind them. I go by the motto “Don’t judge a man by how he falls, judge him by how he stands back up”.

Leaping forward in time the Officers are from a different generation, the new replacing the old, as it’s always been, but…this new “millennial” group of Officers, despite being competent and confident, lack the ability to take criticism, cannot talk to people and are always in a hurry to be someplace where the action is. More than once in my career I have been told “you can’t talk to millennials that way” or ” you don’t know how to talk to millennials”. Maybe so, but I know how to talk to people, it came to this job with me, and it came from years of life experience“, something you do not get from a book or video. I am lucky that I had firm but fair parents, that taught right from wrong, taught manners (I still say ma’am and thank you, I still open doors for people, I take my hat off around ladies and inside) but more than that, I was instilled from a young age a coping mechanism for any and all problems, and that is a faith in God, and that he knows and will provide me with the answers and comfort I need, when I need it.

Now this past paragraph may sound like I am bashing millennials, and this is no means the case. There are two points I want to make, if I can, one is if a person would just listen more than talk the answers would present themselves, and the second? Follow along…

Being a Police Officer has taken a drastic change over the past 10 years, we are no longer respected by the populace, as we once were. This is partially our fault and partially the fault of outside influences beyond our control. Police Officers are having to contend with situations that they are not trained on and that are more military in nature than civilian. Ambushes, terrorist attacks, these are things Soldiers are trained for and these are the things that if you survive, leave scars mentally. These scars, are put in the box with the demons from the homicides, the sudden deaths, the drownings, the suicides, as well as the media constantly finding flaw in every thing we as Police Officers deal with in a manner that they don’t agree with. Today’s Police Officers are being killed at unprecedented rates, but worse, they are unable to keep the demons in the box, and sadly they are committing suicide at rates way higher than ever. These young men and women, are the newer Officers mostly, with an average of 5 years on the job and find they cannot cope with what they have seen, done, and been accused of, alone, and do not know where to turn. They self medicate, and when that fails, they resort to the only solution they think they have left, suicide. I’m not saying that just because you fall in the millennial “group” and you’re a Police Officer, you are more likely to commit suicide, I am saying that it seems to me that younger (in time) Officers, that haven’t developed the coping mechanisms, who do not think they need to listen, who do not believe they need God in their lives, are walking a thin line, without the safety net that seasoned Veterans who have life experience have.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you read this and know someone that you even faintly may feel like they are in trouble, get them help. Do not just let it go, if you can’t help tell their boss, their parent, wife, friend or family member, do not let them try and face it alone.

I have been and always will be a Soldier (once a Soldier always a Soldier) I have been and will always be a Police Officer, and I know I may be called to make a sacrifice that few can make in order to protect the “sheep from the wolves”, that’s the choice I make daily when I put my uniform on. I can cope with my demons as I have the Armor of God, and I let him guide me in times when I am feeling weak. I have the most beautiful and loving wife in my Peach, and nothing on this good earth is going to keep me from annoying her for another 50+ years.

I chose to live a “Life of Duty” like thousands before, and thousands will after, praise them when you get the chance, we are human beings also, with the same wants, needs and fears, we just chose to put them aside to protect you all from the evil in the dark places you choose not to believe exists.

To my fellow Veterans, and my fellow Police Officers, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, if you are feeling weak call and I am there, hit your knees and ask God to show you the way, his way may not be what you want, but it will be what you need.

“I don’t believe in God” “it’s ok, God believes in you”

“God does not care who you were son, God cares who you are”

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”

Categories
Faith Fear focus Life Uncategorized

Don’t Leave the Path!

“They heard his voice come faintly: “Good-bye! Be good, take care of yourselves–and DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!” — Gandalf to Thorin and Company in The Hobbit, by J.R. Tolkien.

Peach says:

In October of 1983, I discovered two wonderful things, that were meant for the rest of my life! J.R.Tolkien, beginning with The Hobbit, (thanks to my Mama) and Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies! I found the recipe in our local newspaper that month, when I first began The Hobbit! I learned to make the cookies while reading the book. The two are intertwined in my mind along with the fall season. The memories of that fall are good! Both of these would be shared and dearly loved, year after year, with my Batman and our sons!

We both read the books every year. We always get something new from them. Last year, something stayed with me. It just has not gone away. It seemed so very much analogous to life, and most especially life in Christ.

In the book, there’s a point in the characters’ journey, that takes them, (Thorin and Company) necessarily through a very daunting, disagreeable, sort of mysterious and fraught with many unknowns, path through a very dark wood.

No question about it, what they needed was on the other side. There really were no better or more safe alternatives. It must be done. Further, their safety blanket (as I think of him, in this instance) Gandalf, has to part company with them at the entrance to the forest, as his mission is taking him on elsewhere for a time. They hope to rejoin in the future, if all goes well, which is by no means altogether certain.

The dwarves and Bilbo are warned by two strong figures, authority figures I’d say, that for NO reason should they stray from the path. That the path, though taking them right through a dark, dangerous and mysterious forest, filled with disagreeable things, the path would lead them THROUGH and OUT, if, they can just stay on course.

They are warned by Gandalf, (after quite an impressive warning by Beor), “Don’t stray off track!–If you do, it is a thousand to one you will never find it again and never get out of Mirkwood, and then I don’t suppose I, or anyone else, will ever see you again.” — Gandalf just before saying his good-byes to Thorin and Company outside Mirkwood Forest, The Hobbit, by J.R. Tolkien.

I find this so similar to life. Our actual journey through a fallen world. Where, though we do have the Word, The Holy Spirit, and even Jesus…on the INSIDE (which is far more than Bilbo and Thorin and Company had), there is no visible presence of Jesus every day as we trudge through our own personal Mirkwood.

We would love to have Him where we can SEE Him, side by side as we make our way through the dark and wild path through the trying world, heading to our Promised Land, One Fine Day.

The path in their Mirkwood has a darkly flowing stream. Filled with enchanted water that is said to cause them to lose their senses. So, in other words, tempting, but forbidden, and potentially deadly. Surrounding them on both sides are creatures that are darkly oppressive and unknown to them, initially. Gandalf would surely be greatly missed.

In our lives, we have all we need to stay the course, yet even still, our human frailties make us wobbly on the course! The dangers at times, encroach on our journey, and seemingly, they know just the right times to try to trip us up.

Regardless of the darkness of the world, or our personal Mirkwood, we have advantages that Bilbo did not. The Word is powerful and living, and stronger than any two-edged sword! And we have it! We have it in spades! Greater is He that is IN us, than he that is in this fallen world!

In Ephesians 6, we are reminded to ‘Put on the WHOLE ARMOR of God…’, going on to name many pertinent pieces of armor, for we traveling pilgrims of Christ.

Two in particular weigh strongly on the way through our Mirkwood!–The Shield of Faith, by which we are able to EXTINGUISH ALL THE FIERY DARTS of the enemy, AND the Sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God!

Psalm 119:105 states ‘Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.’ He IS our way through our Mirkwood seasons!

The best thing about our times of darkness and trial? We are never truly alone. We are never unequipped. We do not camp in Mirkwood. We travel THROUGH Mirkwood. We are promised that He always causes us to triumph. Hold on!

Yes, there are dangers. If we get off course of what we know is true and good, we risk falling in the dark waters of forgetfulness and losing our way altogether!

But, we have our Shepherd, who is much more worthy than even awesome Gandalf! Gandalf would be the first to admit it!

Our Shepherd will leave the 99, so to speak, in order to go find the one lost sheep, and bring him back to the fold and on the path! With rejoicing!

We have the inner compass, GPS guidance system, of the Holy Spirit, to bring to remembrance the Word of God, to caution, to illuminate, to encourage and comfort us. The Bible calls the Holy Spirit, the ‘earnest‘ and also the ‘seal‘ of our salvation. The earnest being like the deposit you pay to hold something until it’s redeemed (when Jesus comes for us) and the seal being a preservation device keeping us intact until final delivery! So powerful!

We have the tools. We have His Promise. We have His Presence. Mirkwood is not for keeps! It’s temporary, we are only passing through.

Proverbs 4 has a wealth of verses that speak to the necessity to stay focused on the path ahead, but, the BEST part is the conclusion of the thoughts, with this promise: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” — Proverbs 4:18! That’s us! You and me! If you are in Christ, you have all that you need, and full assurance of getting to your Promised Land, He won’t fail you!

As I close, I want to share a few verses from Proverbs 4 to think about this, and urge you to read The Hobbit! It’s a good time to read, Y’all!!

“I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When you goest, your steps shall not be straightened; and when you runnest, thou shall not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” — Proverbs 4:11-15

Thank you for sharing this with me! Hit us up in the comments! Batman and I really enjoy connecting with you!!

God bless you and keep you!

Categories
bible Faith family focus Life life styles

Simple Things

Batman Says:

Ecclesiastes 4:6

“Better one handful with tranquillity
    than two handfuls with toil
    and chasing after the wind.”

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Ok, we all know I’m not the best at Bible verses, took me two weeks to find these. But they go along with my thought process in this post.

Simple things, why can we not just stick with the simple things? I have dedicated myself to enjoying simple things around me. Sitting on the deck that we are building (long term project as I’m not as young as I used to be) for our outside enjoyment. Fixing wild game feeders and then using them in the yard to attract and feed squirrels and birds. Going to the hunting club and working on food stations and clearing paths/trails. Taking photographs, Ham radio, blogging (which is funny as only Peach reads my stuff mostly but that’s ok I like doing it).

Too many times we try to impress each other, our peers or strangers, and if we are honest with ourselves, does it really matter what they think? We work, sometimes 7 days a week to earn money to buy things to impress each other, to what end?

There’s a verse in the Bible about not taking it with you or something like that (told ya I’m not the best at Bible even though I read it with Peach daily), I think it’s in Timothy but don’t quote me on it.

We should all take a step back and slow way down, think twice before buying something that even though when can justify it as something we need, we are really only getting to impress someone we really don’t need to impress.

Today Peach and I went to town (don’t even start with the hype about staying home orders) and got a few groceries, got some stuff we needed at Tractor Supply, then stopped by the hunting club. We put up some fence to keep the cows out of where we help supplement the deer with healthy food, and we generally tinkered around in God’s great woods, listening and seeing his creations. We both enjoy being outside and breathing clean air and enjoying all the simplicity. No stress, no phones ringing (dinging, pinging, cricketing, whatever) no crowd noise, just simply “peacefulness” and God’s creatures great and small and the sounds and smells they make and have.

We simply love being out in nature together, stumbling over vines and roots (giggle) falling into mud puddles, and the reason is, it’s “simple”. It’s a simpler time, a simpler place, a simpler feeling, one that could benefit, in my humble opinion, everyone on the planet that thinks that things you can buy to impress someone, are the only things that matter.

Luke 12:15

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

I believe this verse to mean just what I’m trying to say, possess what you need to survive and make your family comfortable. Share what you can with those less fortunate, and if you must work to impress, work to impress the one that matters, the man upstairs, who if we live right and do right, we will all come before eventually.

Watch out for that spider web Peach.